Applied Theatre: Drama in Educational, Community and Social Contexts at Goldsmiths, University of London - UCAS

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Course summary

Develop your ability to contextualise, critique, and create. This MA addresses the historical, political, theoretical and ethical issues of applied theatre, and explores the ways in which theatre and performance are created by diverse groups of people. Why study the MA Applied Theatre at Goldsmiths

  • The Masters is aimed at early-career practitioners with a background in theatre, education, activism or social change, as well as at more established practitioners who want to reflect, refresh and develop their skills.
  • Develop your skills as a collaborative, responsive, imaginative, politically engaged and culturally-aware artist practitioner.
  • Explore how theatre is created in schools, on the streets, in children’s homes, care homes, conflict zones, creches, youth clubs, prisons, women’s refuges, and refugee centres – anywhere groups of people meet and interact.
  • The degree is structured so that practice and theory constantly respond to one another through practical classes and seminars. You will undertake a placement in a recognised host organisation, where you'll work with experienced practitioners and learn how participatory arts organisations function, from an insider’s perspective.
  • Learn about the dynamic and ever-changing field of applied theatre: an umbrella term for a range of performance forms concerned with personal and social change. The term embraces everything from the theatre of the oppressed and prison theatre, to theatre-in-education and theatre for development.
  • You will have the opportunity to explore case studies from the UK and around the globe, using them to inform discussions on questions of identity, representation, health, equality, human rights, aesthetics, and the role of the artist, among many others.
  • You will work with and learn from tutors who are practising artists in a variety of performance, community and social settings.


Histories Theories and Contexts In the autumn term, we look at the roots of Applied Theatre in Education, in Social and Political Change, and in Community. Classes include work with Geese Theatre on their use of masks in Prisons, Drama and Theatre in Education techniques with Gail Babb, intergenerational arts practices with Course Director Sue Mayo, and the use of Drama with Refugees and Asylum Seekers. Throughout this term, students are also engaged in skills-sharing sessions in order to pool their knowledge and expertise. Practice-based classes are linked to a contextual strand, taught through seminars, that enables us to consider the thinking behind our embodied knowledge. Through a series of seminars, we consider the development of applied methodologies from its roots in political theatre; radical and celebratory arts; drama and theatre-in-education; community theatre; prison theatre; therapeutic creative practices and the legacy of Freire and Boal. We study the growing body of writing on applied theatre and its practitioners, and theatre theory. In the Spring Term, the module Analysing Practice focusses on the practices of Applied Theatre. We have a short festival of art forms, with classes in song, puppetry and dance, and a residency shared with students of the MA in performance making, working across modules with artists of distinction from within the Goldsmith’s staff and beyond. Throughout the practical sessions, we work with students to develop their facilitation, devising, project planning and management skills with attention to issues such as group dynamics; power and leadership; inclusion; accessibility; equality; conflict; intercultural practice; safe space and the ethics of touch. Tutor Raj Bhari from the Peaceful Change Initiative leads a module on creative approaches to Community Cohesion, Conflict Resolution, and the artist as activist. At the end of the term, students design and lead a weekend of workshops for a public audience. Complementary Contextual modules Students also choose two lecture or practice-based Option modules from one of our other exciting MA programmes. Previous modules have included, Disability Theatre, African Theatre, Performance Praxis, Radical Performance, Cultural Theory, and The Reflexive Practitioner (which is open only to Applied Theatre students). These are taken in Year 2 by part-time students. Placement The Convenor, Sue Mayo, supports students to locate and develop a placement in a recognised host organisation. On the placement students further the skills they have practised on the programme, whilst dealing with the challenges of a professional context. Placement hosts include London Bubble, Magic Me, Resonate, Greenwich & Lewisham Young People's Theatre, Talawa Theatre, Pan-arts, Crisis, Ovalhouse, Green Shoes Arts, The Young Vic, MIND, CEN8, Lewisham Youth Theatre and Spare Tyre. Professional development As part of our commitment to student’s employability, we offer up to five workshops covering various areas directly relevant to workplaces where drama may be applied; for example, planning and managing projects, child protection and working with vulnerable adults, ethics, evaluation, setting up a theatre company or working as an independent artist. Structure Full time students are in Goldsmiths Monday to Wednesday in terms 1 & 2. Part time students are in Goldsmiths Tuesday and Wednesday in terms 1 & 2 of year 1, and Mondays only in year 2. In the summer term, for both years, there are 5 days of teaching in April and May, dates to be confirmed. Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Assessment method

There are five points of assessment: a 6,000-word essay based on material covered in Term 1 a 6,000-word reflective portfolio on the placement a 12,000-word research project/dissertation. These assessments count towards 80% of the final mark. The remaining 20% is derived from assessment of the two shared complementary/contextual modules, which include Disability Theatre, Performance Praxis, African Theatre, Musical Theatre and Cultural Theory.

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least second class standard in a relevant/related subject. You might also be considered if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level. Priority is given to applicants with experience in the applied theatre field. This could be volunteering or assisting in work that is about working collaboratively through drama, using drama as a learning medium, or using drama for social change, among others. Please note: You must also fulfil our Fitness to Train requirements. If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Tuition fee status depends on a number of criteria and varies according to where in the UK you will study. For further guidance on the criteria for home or overseas tuition fees, please refer to the UKCISA website .

Additional fee information

Unless otherwise stated the annual fee for part time students is half the full time fee quoted

Sponsorship information


Applied Theatre: Drama in Educational, Community and Social Contexts at Goldsmiths, University of London - UCAS